Paul Hornreich – November 15, 2006

Paul was born in Manhattan and went to the Bronx High School of Science and then on to Fairleigh Dickinson where he received his Bachelor of Science and then on to NYU where he earned a Master’s in Science in Electrical Engineering.

          When he was eighteen, he met Carol and were always together. They were married in 1968 and have had an incredibly strong marriage and mutual relationship for all these years.  They lived in Israel for three years, then came back and started a family.  Howard and then Dina are not only wonderful people with good values, but have been loving children.  Paul was always proud of them, and what parent wouldn’t be proud of children who grew up to be giving and productive and kind people who make a difference in the lives of others?

          Paul worked as an engineer for different companies such as Pickar where he designed ultra-sound machines and Inn-Com where he worked in energy conservation.

          Paul certainly knew sadness in his life.  He lost both his father and his brother Richard to heart disease all too early.  Paul’s bypass surgery probably gave him ten more years than he would have had, and while it sounds strange today, we’re thankful for that.

          Paul had many dimensions.  He was a great basketball player.  They called him Gibbles, even though I can’t quite figure that one out.  The JCC was a big part of his life; Howie always went with him.  In return, Paul always came to all of Howie’s games, including when Howie became a popular and inspiring coach.

          For Dina, her father was a pillar of strength, a tower of strength.  His engineer’s mind could analyze any problem and astutely break it down and try to solve it.

          Solving, fixing – that was Paul.  If it were broken, he could fix it.  He was Mr. Fix-It.  He approached anything with the attitude that he could fix it, and he did, and he did it with ease.

          Little things meant a lot to him.  He was a major league grocery shopper, a supermarket Guru, and all the calculations were in his head.  It was never about the money; Paul didn’t care about money or what it could bring.  But he enjoyed the game of it and he didn’t like waste.

          Besides playing and watching sports, he played chess and collected stamps and coins.

          He was a good son to his mother Beatrice.  Beatrice is now 96 and she has outlived two husbands and, tragically, both of her sons.  Paul would buy food for his mother, wrap it up into meal-sized portions, go down to New York and pay her bills, and make sure everything was okay.

          Paul gave to others until the end.  He volunteered as a tutor even though he was very sick and couldn’t walk.

          Paul cared deeply for Claudia and appreciated her family and everything they’ve done.  He welcomed Guy into the family.  He was grateful for the friendship of Albert Demico who was selfless and incredible during this difficult time.

          These twenty-one months since he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have been a long nightmare, but what a courageous soldier for life Paul has been.  He has been strong and resolute.  This was one he couldn’t fix, but he lasted a lot longer with this disease than anyone I’ve ever known.  What a test of character, and he got straight A’s.

          Carol was with Paul at every step of the way, just as she’s been with him everyday for forty-four years.  They were trusted friends, best friends.  Never was that bond so necessary as it’s been during this bad time, but love is stronger than sickness and love is stronger than death, and the love between these two people does not end and will not end.

          Some people say: When you’re this sick, what good are all the treatments?

          But I say: Twenty-one months is a long time.  It enabled him to see Howie at his school where he’s an Assistant Principal.  It enabled him to see Dina happy in her meaningful work and her relationship with Guy.  It enabled him to know that new life is coming.  It enabled Paul to see how Carol gave him everything that she had and more.

          Even without all that, Paul would have fought for life.  He was a strong person with a love for life.

          Even at the end he taught us how to live by showing us how precious every day is.  He was a good and righteous man.